Were 10 employees let go from Firemint or not?

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Kotaku AU's rumour report on 10 staff retrenchments at Australia's leading mobile developer has been met with a quick rebuttal from Firemint's community manager, Sam Mayo.

The rumour suggested that as much as 10 employees from Melbourne-based Firemint, mostly non-managerial roles such as artists as well as a producer, were let go on Thursday and Friday this week.

Kotaku reports of knowing of seven of these employees first-hand and puts the reasons for the retrenchments on the lower-than-expected sales of Firemint's most recent iPhone release, Spy Mouse, which Kotaku reports have fallen at times out of the top 100 charts in the most lucrative App store markets in the world such as the US, UK and Europe.

Sam Mayo made the following official response to Kotaku AU...

We have not fired ten people, SPY mouse is a very successful product which we’re continuing to support … December was very very good for us — Real Racing 2 HD sat in the #1 position in the top selling charts during the lucrative week from Christmas to New Years.

Comments

someguy's picture

"We have not fired ten people"

so you fired 9?

newb's picture

I wouldn't be surprised by a large publisher shutting down a local dev, but this sounds fishy. EA paid millions for Fire Mint. Why would they close them? The reporter says hes ex-FM too... bitter ex employee? Dodgy. (dont close firemint i want to work for you!)

Logan Booker (Kotaku Weekend Editor)'s picture

I'm definitely not bitter. I left on excellent terms and now run my own studio in Melbourne. Firemint hasn't been shut down -- there's about 50-60 people, so ten off that certainly doesn't constitute "shutting down".

We've updated the story (Iron Monkey suffered also) and I'm 100% sure now that 10 people lost their jobs last week: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/02/firemint-employees-lose-jobs-10-gone-so...

--'s picture

Whats your studio? interested in checking it out. got any animator jobs? lol
so its ten total across ea, not ten at firemint? i keep an eye on that article to see if the numbers are revised again, since you even sound confused here?

Anonymous's picture

"We have not fired ten people"

So you fired 8. I guess the layoffs are not surprising really, especially when a company like Firemint decides to take whatever cash is presented to them by a big publisher and be bought out, then continues on to make uninspiring games but that's probably upper management's fault and not the programmers, artists and designers involved.

Anonymous's picture

As a neutural observer, why was the reply to this post deleted but this post kept?

If you want to get rid of the flames, then this post has to go too. It was an appropriate response considering the context.

Souri, you seem determined to drive whats left of this site into the ground by allowing protecting petty ignorant snipes like this. WHo woudl want to come here?

souri's picture

The last line of the removed post pushed it over the edge, I guess.

I don't try to over moderate which is why the original post up there hasn't been removed, despite that I disagree with everything about it. If past instances were anything to learn from, I'd have been called a fascist and a censor if I had removed it.

You know, in regards to the comments area on here, I've come to realise long ago that I simply cannot please everyone, no matter what I do. Leave the comments area unmoderated and let everyone have their say? Whole lot of nasty snipes and pointless back-and-forth arguments. Moderate too much? Get called a fascist and a censor. If I try to settle inbetween and make everyone happy, I still get these "why did you delete that and not this?" and "I'm never coming back" comments.

I'm bewildered at the level of scrutiny I get in regards to the moderation on here, particularly when I see what kind of inflammatory comments are accepted in other gaming related websites.

NathanRunge's picture

I have to say, I agree with Souri's action having read both messages. While I disagree with a good portion of the anonymous post that remains, it is expressing an opinion on the article at hand and industry bodies. Whether or not you or I find that opinion agreeable, it is still the poster's right to hold that opinion and express it.

The reply, however, was an attack upon a poster that got rather personal. The majority of its content wasn't addressing the subject, or providing either an argument or alternative opinion. Rather, it focused on berating another individual and, in summary, provided an offensive and unnecessary generalisation about a group of people who are often active in this community.

In response to the anonymous post itself, I would challenge the poster to await, or seek, more information before jumping to conclusions about the story. It seems likely, given the very deliberate wording of Firemint's response, that some employees have been terminated. If that is the case, there's valid reason to be upset at the rather glib "We have not fired ten people" response. If not, then we can all just enjoy that fact without judging Firemint.

Your comments regarding fault are often the case, but it is also often the case that management gets blamed regardless of the cause. Again, I'd caution that more information is essential before jumping to conclusions, especially ones that are likely to upset people.